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[ 97 ] January 2, 2013 |

Peter King (R-NY): “I’m saying right now, anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds. Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It was an absolute disgrace.”

Of course, this doesn’t go far enough; it’s insane for a non-wingnut to vote for any Republican candidate for Congress, because even if you think (probably wrongly) that your particular representative is a sensible type, you’re also voting for an absolutely-around-the-bend leadership.

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  1. Tnap01 says:

    King forgot to add “anyone who ever votes foe me again is also out of their minds.”

    We’re here to help Pete

  2. rea says:

    King, of course, is as wingnutty as they come, on issues that don’t mean money for his district.

  3. Bitter Scribe says:

    King and Issa. If ever any two deserved each other…

    I think the real reason the chuckleheads obstructed this is because they’re mad at NY and NJ for voting for Obama, and they’re especially mad at NJ because Christie had the gall to make common cause with Obama after Sandy.

    And I also think the real reason Christie was so grateful to Obama was because he expected Obama to jerk him around for political reasons—as the Republican are now doing, in other words.

    Too bad it took a natural disaster to make the scales fall from certain eyes.

    • Quincy says:

      I’m not sure how much it has to do with animosity toward “New York liberal elites.” The Republicans have publicly resisted disaster aid on multiple occasions since 2010, even when it would’ve gone to red states. Then again, given the regional fault lines emerging within the party I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a large contingent of wingnuts who would be perfectly content to watch the entire Northeast drown and who see no need to keep the Republican party alive in those portions of the country they don’t recognize as “real America.”

      • Sherm says:

        Its fits within their “everyman for himself” vision of society — If people want to live near the water and they don’t have enough flood insurance, fuck em. That’s their problem, not mind.

      • Sherm says:

        Without typos:

        It fits within their “everyman for himself” vision of society — If people want to live near the water and they don’t have enough flood insurance, fuck em. That’s their problem, not mine.

        • manta says:

          Actually, that’s a sensible policy: the state should not cover the ass of idiots who builds on dangerous palces, and of local governemnts who allow buildings in dangerous places.

          • That doesn’t fly when we’re talking about cities built a century ago.

            Do you think the people who ended up living in, say, the public housing in the Lower Ninth Ward had a whole lot of options?

            • manta says:

              My was not a question of morality (albeit I probably used a charged wording), but of sensible policy: if the people know tha they will get bailed out, they will keep living in those places (a similar situation happened with financial insitutitions).

              However, I did not know that many victims lived in public housing: this make the local governemt not only negligent, but actively criminal.

              • JL says:

                Having spent the first two weekends after Sandy doing relief work in NYC: Yes, a lot of the absolute worst-hit people were public housing residents. It was awful. Those who weren’t mobile without functioning elevators were trapped in buildings without heat or running water for weeks. Sometimes I’d step out onto a floor and the smell would be so bad that I’d start retching. I went through one building where the fire alarms had been going off in the hallways nonstop for nearly two weeks, and there was (according to the FEMA guy outside the building) methane buildup in the bathrooms.

              • However, I did not know that many victims lived in public housing: this make the local governemt not only negligent, but actively criminal.

                Walk me though this: there are people without housing in a city on land that floods. The city builds them homes.

                This is “actively criminal.”

                Hokay.

                • manta says:

                  I cannot make miracles: If you don’t understand something so simple by yourself, I cannot help you.
                  I can only point to the victims of this policy and ask you to look.

                • I wouldn’t want to try to defend that shit, either.

                  “actively criminal.”

                  You want to defend that? I guess not.

                • Tell me, pompous prick, what are the terrible results of the people who were already living in the neighborhood having better homes (or even homes) at the time the flood struck?

                  See if you can work that “miracle,” asshole.

              • if the people know tha they will get bailed out, they will keep living in those places

                Again, this might be applicable to people who have options, but not to people (and municipalities) that do not.

                You also seem to be working from the assumption that people actually understand the level of risk when they move into those homes, and are making their decision based on the assumption that they are likely to be wiped out and then bailed out.

                • Sherm says:

                  Case in point — a very close friend of mine had his house flooded by the storm, although his house was not even in the flood zone when he purchased it.

                • manta says:

                  It’s true that the single people often are poorly informed and don’t have much options.

                  But that is much less true for states and municipalities. At minimum they should inform residents of the level of risks, and not build houses in risky places.

                  If they are more adventurous, they might even consider having a building code, that imposes suitable building standards that vary according to the risk assessment.

                • manta says:

                  You can happily debate with yourself: before you said that houses there were cheaper because of the added risk; now you say that people didn’t know the risk.

                  Anyhow, ignorance and lack of options are plausible for single people, but are not for the municipalities: the experience JL describes above should not happen, and the people who allowed it should go to prison.

                • Sherm says:

                  the people who allowed it should go to prison.

                  When do you think the public housing in Queens and Brooklyn was built?

                • It’s true that the single people often are poorly informed and don’t have much options.

                  But that is much less true for states and municipalities.

                  This is where the difference between a new, growing suburb and a century-old city comes into play.

                  No, New Orleans did not have a lot of options when the public housing was built. The neighborhoods they built within were already there, and they were building housing for the people already in the threatened area. The option “should people not live here” is simply not there.

                  This is a different question than that faced by a town that is seeing suburban greenfield development, such as that which filled in the low-lying land between Houston and Galveston.

                • Does everybody notice that manta wants the people who dared to build housing for poor people in New Orleans to go to prison, but not the people who slashed the funding for the levees?

                • Bitter Scribe says:

                  Oh great. Another glibertarian fucktard.

                • manta says:

                  “manta wants the people who dared to build housing for poor people in New Orleans to go to prison, but not the people who slashed the funding for the levees?”

                  Joe, when you are reduced to attribute made-up opinions to your opponent to contiue a debate, it’s high time you start shutting up.

                  I am disappointed: since you are making shit up, you should also emphasize that I did not mention Emperor Nero’s culpability in the burning of Rome.

          • Hob says:

            Indeed, how could anyone be so stupid as to build a port city near an ocean?

          • Sherm says:

            What about covering the asses of the working class and middle class families who are guilty of nothing more than buying a house where a 100 year storm struck?

          • JMP says:

            Yeah, people should only live in areas that are not affected by any natural disasters, like absolutely no location on the entire face of the Earth, idiot.

  4. Left_Wing_Fox says:

    Interesting the “Packed with pork” claim is backed by handful of spending which makes up far less than $1bn of the $60bn bill.

    Which, given past performance in “cost cutting” for Planned Parenthood, PBS/NPR and the like, is completely par for the course.

  5. c u n d gulag says:

    You want a laugh?
    Peter King is rumoured to be thinking about switching parties!

    Uhm, why?
    It’s not like there’s much that seperates him from the rest of the moronic mongrels.

    And to which party?

    I hope he’s not assuming that we Democrats would want his crazy xenophobic @$$!
    And I’m sure the Green Party wants nothing to do with that corporation-loving, bloviating maniac, either.

    Ok, the NE just had a hurricane that, for us, was of epic proportions.

    In the South, I believe they’d call this, just another “Big Blow.”

    So, don’t be surprised the next time another “Big Blow” comes your way, or a ‘bigger’ one, Southern states, if we tell you not to expect us to pick-up the tab for it, either – you know, like we’ve been doing up until now.
    Oh, and like we’ve also been paying for your roads, schools, airports, railroads, etc.

    You Republicans want to be truly conservative?
    How about a state only gets back what it puts into the Federal Kitty?

    That would help us pay for Hurricane Sandy much quicker, since we wouldn’t have to be sending any money to y’all!

    Oh, that’s right, your precious Red “State” and it’s “rights” wouldn’t survive a year, if you only got back what you kicked in!
    And by then, the rubes would have long past been getting more than a tad restless, and might start to openly revolt – against Republicans, and Conservatism.

    • John says:

      I don’t see how Peter King could possibly be serious about becoming a Democrat. He has to know he couldn’t win a Democratic primary. (The example of Michael Forbes ought to be important here).

      I guess it is vaguely plausible that he could become an independent, caucus with the Democrats, and run as an independent (or 3rd party candidate) in his re-elections. I’m not sure how plausible that is with New York ballot access rules.

      • Craigo says:

        Has anyone ever won on just the Conservative line?

        • John says:

          Yes, starting at least with James Buckley’s victory over Charles Goodell (R) and Richard Ottinger (D). I’m not sure how King could secure the Conservative Party line while caucusing with Democrats, though. He could run on the Independence Party line, I guess.

        • snarkout says:

          Bill Buckley’s brother James won a term as a Senator from New York in the ’70s on the Conservative (but not Republican) line. You obviously need special circumstances — IIRC Buckley was facing a liberal Republican (not Javits, so I have no idea who it was) who split votes with the Democrat, while Buckley ran as an unabashed Vietnam hawk.

          • snarkout says:

            Shucks, John beat me to it. I’m pretty sure that’s the only time, although both the Conservative and Liberal parties have played spoiler in numerous races.

            • John says:

              Lindsay won NYC mayor as a Liberal in 1969 after losing the Republican primary to a conservative.

              Liberal Republican incumbents running as spoilers on the Liberal line after losing the primary seems to have been fairly common, historically – Jacob Javits did the same thing after losing the primary to D’Amato in 1980.

              The Liberal Party, however, is basically defunct now.

      • Sherm says:

        I don’t see how Peter King could possibly be serious about becoming a Democrat.

        He’s not. He’s grandstanding to appear to be a moderate to help his re-election as a republican and to curry favor with the press, which loves this crap. He’s like McCain — a hardcore conservative who is thought to be a maverick by some because he occasionally stands up to the crazies in the party, although he routinely goes along with them.

      • Chuchundra says:

        Yeah, but here’s the thing. The Suffolk County Democratic party are a bunch of worthless douchebags. I’m sure that if King switched parties, they’d greet him with open arms and do their best to ward off any serious primary challengers.

        King is my congresscritter and I’m not even sure who we ran against him this year. I think they just went out in the street and picked the first person who walked by.

        • John says:

          Again, Michael Forbes, who was much more genuinely moderate than King is, seems like a pretty strong counter-example to me.

          • Chuchundra says:

            Except that Forbes was a pretty serious nobody. And even at that, he just barely lost the Democratic primary.

            King has 20 years in the House and, I assume, a fairly formidable war chest. I’m not saying he’d win in a walk, but I wouldn’t bet against him.

            • John says:

              I’d have to think, though, that unlike Forbes, King is actively hated by a substantial majority of the Democratic primary electorate in his district.

              • Chuchundra says:

                That’s a fair point. I live in King’s district and my wife can’t mention his name in conversation without accompanying it with some version of fuck, fucking, fucko or fuckhead.

                I love her very much.

  6. Joe says:

    Is King saying he himself is out of his mind?

  7. elm says:

    I have this argument all the time with my Northeastern-living parents who have a number of times in the past disliked the Democratic nominee so much they voted for the moderate-ish Republican candidate.

    My father has gone so far as to switch parties, claiming to be a Rockerfeller Republican. I’ve given up trying to convince him that the current Democratic party essentially holds the positions of Rockerfeller Republicans (or, at least, is a hell of lot closer to them than modern Republicans are.) But my mother seems to finally understand that she’s really casting votes for Boehner vs Pelosi and McConnel vs Reid, and not whatever the local and state-wide matchups are.

    Small victories, but the Republican antics of the last couple of years did just cost them one potential cross-over voter.

    • Mac says:

      Thats funny – my dad considers himself a rockefeller republican as well, but he understands that voting dem means policies closer to his preferable outcome. He just has this weird emotional attachement to the idea of a moderate republican.

    • My mother used to tell me she “loved” Scott Brown, but after she heard Romney’s 47% comments, she decided she couldn’t vote for a Republican no matter what.

  8. Craigo says:

    Spiking aid to storm-ravaged communities is sociopathic enough, but the house GOP apparently adjourned even though the motion failed a voice vote. That’s cartoonish supervillainy.

    • dww44 says:

      I read comment at another blog last evening that when asked about the House adjourning without voting on Sandy relief, a Boehner aide directed the questioner to Cantor. Wonder if there had been a quid-pro-quo?

    • swearyanthony says:

      It was just a #ragequit after the tax vote. If you assume the GOP strategy is crafted by 8 year olds, you’ll find it easier to comprehend.

  9. KWillow says:

    This would be a really good moment for Obama to request and accept help for our hurricane victims from the rest of the world. If the USA is too broke (or broken) to aid its own citizens, then let us beg!

  10. Joshua says:

    I understand the idea that continually getting the federal government to foot the bill on rebuilding these areas is a moral hazard of sorts, although it’s interesting that the right stands its ground here and not, say, securitization.

    Still, $60 billion would be a decent stimulus for these hard-hit areas – think of the jobs needed for construction, etc., not to mention that a few places would be economically viable again sooner.

    Yes we are getting into “pay someone to dig a hole then fill it up” territory but after 5 years of this crap economy, it’s about time. Of course nobody in DC cares about growth.

  11. Sherm says:

    I understand the idea that continually getting the federal government to foot the bill on rebuilding these areas is a moral hazard of sorts,

    These kinds of thoughts had crossed my mind following Katrina, but after helping to gut some flooded homes in very blue collar neighborhoods, I no longer have these kinds of concerns. Why have a federal government if its not there to provide support for its citizens? Its a simple matter of risk-pooling.

    • Anonymous says:

      Eh, it’s not that simple a matter. We don’t want people taking unreasonable risks (as defined by general, amorphous principles, naturally). I certainly don’t want people repeatedly re-building on what will soon be sandbanks. That’s just a waste of society’s money.

      But the problem for LI (compared to, say, New Orleans) is that the other option — other than just leaving citizens to fend for themselves in this crisis — is to move them. But the density and cost of the area is such that paying to move tens of thousands of people a few miles away to safer ground would be difficult at best, and a serious financial strain. Eminent domain might be able to find the land, but the Government still has to pay the owners for it.

      • Law Spider says:

        That was me.

      • Sherm says:

        More like hundreds of thousands, and that’s just on Long Island. And of course its not a “simple” matter. I was just referring to the need for the federal government to provide the financial support for whatever the solution might be. But given the reality of the NY metro area, re-building appears to be the only feasible solution at this time.

        Ideally, the local governments would be required to pass stricter building codes requiring that the first floor of all structures be built a higher number of feet above mean sea level as a condition to their receipt of federal funds, and the federal government would offer grants and low-interest loans to homeowners to modify existing structures to comport with the new standards.

        • drkrick says:

          Isn’t mean sea level going to be a moving target for the foreseeable future?

          • Sherm says:

            Building codes in flood zones are based upon mean sea level established by the US Coast and Geodetic Survey. The height at which first levels can be constructed can account for the expected rises in sea level.

          • Sherm says:

            From what I have seen (and from what I learned from prosecuting an architectural malpractice case involving a building which was built too low in a flood zone), it seems to me that homes in these areas need to be raised approximately 3-5 feet. Those who raise their homes should get the long-term benefit of decreased flood insurance rates (which are set to go up 2.5-3x in the next couple of years) and an increase in re-sale price. Those who don’t, should have to pay more for their flood insurance and will see their homes lose value. But governmental planning and federal $ are required. My brother-in-law just got an estimate of 65k to raise his very modest house 6 feet (water level was 49 inches on main level), and that doesn’t include the new steps, porch, deck, etc.. That’s just to raise the structure and to build up the foundation under it.

      • liberal says:

        Eminent domain might be able to find the land, but the Government still has to pay the owners for it.

        Reason number 25,732 for having a hefty land value tax.

    • rea says:

      Yeah–millionaires with beachfront houses maybe aren’t entitled to a lot of sympathy, but most of the people actually affected don’t fall within that catagory.

      • KWillow says:

        There aren’t many places in the US that are NOT dangerous. The West Coast has earthquakes,floods, droughts. Midwest has tornados, blizzards, floods and droughts. The South has hurricanes and no doubt other hazards I’m unfamiliar with. Northeast: hurricanes, blizzards, floods, tornados etc.

        I can’t think of a natural-disaster-free place to live in the US.

        • Murc says:

          There is a difference between ‘this might happen’ and ‘this will happen.’ Also there are differing costs to coping with things.

          There’s a long leagues worth of difference between building a properly up to code home in earthquake country, and, say, building a beachfront home on a sandbar on the outer banks that is literally guaranteed to sink into the sea within five years absent herculean efforts.

          Where you run into trouble are places like NOLA. New Orleans is an enormous American city whose continued viability AS a city will only be possible due to the aforementioned very costly herculean efforts. Hell, it costs nine digits a year JUST to stop the Mississippi from shifting in its bed. That’s absent a natural disaster of any kind.

          The part of me that is a technocrat thinks ‘Well, clearly, what we need is a long-term plan to depopulate a lot of the gulf coast and to shift those who remain there to a development model that is better suited to resist hurricanes.’

          The part of me that is, you know, a citizen and a human being thinks ‘Fuck you, nature, you exist to serve US, not the other way around. We will spend billions of dollars to ensure that the vibrant communities we have spent literally centuries building remain where they are and continue to thrive. We will BUILD A DOME over New Orleans if we have to! The dome will have a picture of Huey Long giving the finger to the gulf on it!’

          • JL says:

            There is a difference between ‘this might happen’ and ‘this will happen.’

            Not to disagree with your point, but I feel like “This will happen” didn’t used to be a thing people said about hurricanes in the Northeast. Some of the talk about moral hazard in this thread seems really odd to me when this type of disaster has been a rarity in the most affected areas.

          • KWillow says:

            There aren’t a hell of a lot of hurricanes in New York and Jersey, are there? I doubt many of the people in the affected areas were warned of storm surges and 80mph winds when the moved in. Teh RICH probably were warned, and most likely got cheap Government Insurance for their beach mansions.

        • elm says:

          This is true, but there are some places that you know the hazard is higher than elsewhere: a house that straddles a fault-line; a house in some flood zones (not a hundred-year flood zone but, say, a five-year flood zone); a house on a barrier island in the Gulf or off the Carolinas. We should not be encouraging people to live in these places.

          However, as we learned in New Orleans, oftentimes the poor live in these areas because property is cheaper there specifically because of the disaster potential.

          There’s no easy fix for this problem, but some combination of buying out their homes after creating sufficient affordable housing in non-disaster areas would eventually do the trick, I would hope.

        • NonyNony says:

          I can’t think of a natural-disaster-free place to live in the US the world.

          There isn’t. No matter where you live there’s a threat of natural disaster. There are some places where it’s worse than others, and some places where it is patently stupid to promote new building in the area. But beyond that anywhere you choose to live is going to come with risks from natural disasters – earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, deadly snowstorms – there isn’t a single spot in the USA that isn’t at risk for at least one of these things.

          Which is why the Republican/Libertarian line on this is so goddamn stupid. Private insurance can only do so much (and can’t do much of ANYTHING when it comes to immediate relief efforts).

        • liberal says:

          I can’t think of a natural-disaster-free place to live in the US.

          As Murc alludes, that’s not the right question. The right way to formulate the question is “how likely is a disaster in a particular place?” and “how costly is it to mitigate, and/or repair?”

          I’d wager, for example, that total likely damages due to storms in tornado-prone parts of the nation are far smaller than total likely damages due to hurricanes, if averaged over a suitably long window.

          • KWillow says:

            But there are a LOT of tornados in the MidWest, and houses don’t appear to be built to withstand them (steel frame, screwed together wood sections & roofs).

            Meanwhile there are not many hurricanes in the US in comparison to tornados or even floods, and very few indeed in the NYC area.

  12. CaptBackslap says:

    I disagree that it’s never rational to vote for a GOP Rep. If there’s no chance of the Democrats retaking the House, it might be better to have a Representative who does an especially good job of defending that district’s economic interests, or who has an excellent constituent-service operation, than a freshman Democrat who isn’t good at either of those things.

    • liberal says:

      That’s crazy. Given the advantage of incumbency, the only way your claim would make sense would be if the Dems never stood a chance of retaking the house.

      Constituent services and bringing home the bacon are, in terms of the political and economic health of the country, third order effects. The damage inflicted by the Republicans is a first-order effect.

      • CaptBackslap says:

        The thing is, if there’s a particular reason to believe that a given cycle is the best chance to flip a seat, that’s probably going to be a year when the Democrats do have a chance of taking the House. If it’s something particular to that district (such as a scandal) that makes an election the only chance to knock off a longtime GOP Rep, that would militate for taking the chance.

    • Craigo says:

      Of course, there is never no chance of the Democrats taking the House.

    • KWillow says:

      The Dems had the house in 2009, and they had a MANDATE. They threw it away. “Impeachment off the table!” “Let the health ins. companies write the Federal Health Insurance bill!” “Don’t keep even one promise made in 2008!

      So the Tbaggers took control. Sure, we can urge people to vote the Dems back into the house, but what would be the point?

  13. liberal says:

    …it’s insane for a non-wingnut human to vote for any Republican candidate for Congress anything…

    FTFY.

  14. DrDick says:

    He is just now discovering this? It has been true for the past 30 years.

  15. Aaron B. says:

    King threatens backstabbing spree by Congressional Republicans, news at eight.

  16. Eli Rabett says:

    If the Dems had balls (Eli knows) they would put King’s rant onto every damn channel in PA, NJ and NY right now. We need some internet ads asap.

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